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Full text of "The magic of iron and steel: Worcester Art Museum, February third to ninth, 1940."

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Worcester Art Museā„¢ 

February Third to Ninth 
19 4 


This exhibition is presented for the purpose 
of showing how iron and steel have "been put to 
many uses "by man since their origin five thousand 
years ago. Our modern skyscrapers and ocean liners 
are indeed far removed from the first hit of raw 
iron which some ancient savage fashioned into a 
rough knife, "but it is well for us to remember that 
our modern buildings and ships are the products of 
long years of toil and study in the chemistry and 
content of iron. 

Let us go back 3500 years before Christ and 
trace, roughly, the history of man's most valuable 

That iron tools were used in 3500 B.C. has been 
proved by the samples that were found near the 
pyramids in Egypt. There are three periods of iron 
and steel in Europe, the first beginning with wrought 
iron, made on crude forges with the use of charcoal 
fires. At this time leather water bottles were used 
as bellows to force air into the fires. The second 
period was that of pure cast iron, and began in the 
14th century. Methods of production had improved oy 
this time and bellows were operated by water power. 
Forges or furnaces were larger and offered closer 
contact between the fuel and the iron ore. As a re- 
sult more heat was obtained and purer iron was 

In 1611 coke was patented for smelting, and by 
1735 cast iron was made by the use of coke in the blast 
furnace. In 1784 a process known as "puddling" by use 
of an open hearth was introduced, thus making possible 
the control of carbon content. The year 1811 saw men 
making use of hitherto useless gases, rich in carbonic 
oxide, which burned off the top of the furnace. The 
third and final period of iron in Europe began with 
Bessemer and the open hearth which employed the 
exceedingly high temperature of 1500 degrees centigrade 
Finally came the alloys of steel and the science of 
metallurgy as they are known today. 

W. B. 


The John Woodman Higgins Armory: 

Pieces of Armor 
Hub Cap 
Steel Hinge 
Iron Ore 

Clark University: Meteorite 

Mr, Percy F, Marsaw: Wrought Iron Shears 

Miss Rosina Morris: Horse-shoe 

Film and Exhibition Program 
Saturday afternoons at three o'clock 
Free and open to the public. 

February 3. -Films: "The Making of Wrought Iron* " 
"A Visit to the Armor Gallery," and "Steel." 
Exhibition: The Magic of Iron and Steel * 

February 10. Films J "The Making of a Bronze Statue," 
and "Sculpture in Stone." Exhibition: Sculptor's 
Tools and Sculpture in the Making, 

February 17. Film: "The Making of a Stained Glass 
Window," Exhibition: Stages in the Creation of 
a Stained Glass Window. 

February 24. Films: "The Silversmith" (the late Arthur 
J. Stone of Gardner cooperated with the Museum of 
Fine Arts, Boston, in making this film) a,nd "Metal 
Craft." Exhibition: Art in Silver and Pewter. 

March 2. Films: "The Pottery Maker" and "People of 
Mexico." Exhibition: Pottery in the Making. 

March 9. Films: "Clothing" and "Tapestries and How 
They Are Made." Exhibition: Fashions of the Last 
Two Decades, Tapestry Today. 

March 16, Films: "The Temples and Tombs of Ancient 
Egypt," "The Daily Life of the Egyptians- Ancient 
and Modern," and "Exotic Egypt." 
Exhibition: Bringing the Past to Life. 

March 30. Film: "The Making of a Fresco." 
Exhibition: A Fresco Painting.